HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)
LGBTQ* individuals who engage in unprotected sex and/or have multiple sexual partners are at an increased risk of HIV and other STI’s. Safe sex practices, including newer advances in Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), are critical in reducing the risk of getting or transmitting HIV. You may want to take PrEP if: you have more than one sexual partner; you don’t always use condoms; you use drugs and have shared needles in the past 6 months; or your partner is living with HIV. Talk to your provider or call or text Stony Brook Medicine’s PrEP Specialist at 631-559-6138 to learn about the different forms of PrEP.
You should also be aware of what to do in the event that you may have been exposed to HIV. HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) can significantly decrease the risk of contracting HIV if you have had unprotected sexual contact with someone who has, or might have, HIV or by sharing needles. PEP should be started as soon as possible, ideally within 36 hours. Contact your provider or go to the emergency room IMMEDIATELY following an exposure to explore your options. You can also call the New York State PEP hotline at 844-PEP4NOW (844-737-4669) for immediate assistance.
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
- with HIV
- who have anal sex
- with a history of anal or genital warts
- with a history of an abnormal cervical or vulvar pap.
If you have an abnormal anal pap smear, you may require further testing with a colorectal specialist.
Hepatitis Immunization and Screening
If you have sex with multiple partners (of any gender) you may be at an increased risk for contracting hepatitis, which is an STI that can cause serious liver problems such as liver failure or liver cancer. Safe sex practices may reduce the risk of viral hepatitis. Immunizations are available to prevent two of the three hepatitis viruses. Universal immunization for Hepatitis A Virus and Hepatitis B Virus is recommended for all sexually active people. If you have Hepatitis there are treatments available.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. Smoking and obesity are the biggest risk factors for heart disease. Everyone should have a yearly medical exam to check for high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, and diabetes. Your provider may also offer tips on quitting smoking, increasing physical activity, and controlling weight. It is important that you are comfortable with your healthcare provider and that you can talk openly and honestly with them.
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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)
A one-time screening for AAA with ultrasonography is recommended in those who were assigned male at birth, aged 65 to 75 years who have ever smoked 100 or more cigarettes in their lifetime. Talk to your provider to see if this test may be appropriate for you.
Regardless of your sexual orientation and/or gender identity, it is important that you have recommended cancer screenings.
Breast Cancer screening by mammogram every 2 years is recommended in cisgender women, all transgender individuals and all non-binary persons who were assigned female at birth starting at age 40 to age 74. Talk to your primary care provider about getting a mammogram.
Individuals with a prostate should consult their primary care provider about when they should get screened for prostate cancer. The decision to undergo periodic prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based screening for prostate cancer should be an individual one. The discussions about screening, based on level of risk, may start as early as age 40. Patients and providers should consider the balance of benefits and harms based on family history, race/ethnicity, comorbid medical conditions, patient values about the benefits and harms of screening and treatment-specific outcomes, and other health needs.
Annual screening for Lung cancer is recommended in adults aged 50 to 80 years, who have a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery. Talk to your provider about getting your lung cancer screening.
Screening for colon cancer is recommended in all adults aged 45 to 75 years old. There are many different methods of screening and you should talk to your provider to decide which screening option is best for you.